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First all-digital SAT exam, tough math section puts students to the test: ‘Worst one yet’

A person using a computer with inset of teacher pointing at smart board.
A person using a computer with inset of teacher pointing at smart board.

The test results might not be in yet but the verdicts are.

The first sitting for the new all-digital SAT exam took place on Saturday and put students to the test, many parents have reported.

One Brooklyn student, who already took two tests the old-fashioned way — with pencil and paper — called Saturday’s college admissions exam “the worst one yet.”

The College Board has introduced “digital adaptive testing” for the SAT, and the exam is designed to reduce stress for students. AP
The College Board has introduced “digital adaptive testing” for the SAT, and the exam is designed to reduce stress for students. AP

Another change to the test is that it is “adaptive,” meaning the difficulty of questions will change depending on how students performed in prior sections.

“I suspect it was much tougher for kids who do well on it because it is now an adaptive exam,” noted Ben Morden, a Manhattan representative to the Citywide Council on High Schools.

For others, it could skip questions that are too difficult, which has been slammed as a “dumbing down” of the 98-year-old test. The College Board insists students given easier questions won’t be disadvantaged.

The math section was said to have been the toughest for many, over the reading and writing portions.

Another student called the reading and writing part “insane.”

The first fully digital SAT debuted on March 9. AP
The first fully digital SAT debuted on March 9. AP
Students who are given an easier go in the second portion of the SAT “won’t be disadvantaged,” according to the College Board. AP
Students who are given an easier go in the second portion of the SAT “won’t be disadvantaged,” according to the College Board. AP

“I practiced all the Bluebook tests and SAT Suite questions, but the real ones were more difficult,” she wrote in a Facebook page for digital test prep.

“I [didn’t] have enough time to check my answers and read all the questions.”

The exam is administered by the College Board, which says it has been designed to reduce stress. Other changes include a shorter test time — college hopefuls are given two hours and 14 minutes instead of three hours.

Students can now expect to get results in days instead of weeks.

The CCHS hopes to hold a public meeting with a College Board representative before the next test sitting for families to learn more about the new changes.